German MPs visit troops at Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation airbase

German Chancellor and top candidate of the Christian Democratic Union CDU Angela Merkel speaks during an election campaign in Delbrueck western Germany Sunday Sept. 10 2017

Speaking with DW in Estonia's capital Tallinn, Luxembourg's foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, said although he understands that Germany is in the midst of an election campaign and that Berlin is "extremely annoyed" with the rhetoric coming from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he disagrees with Berlin's strategy concerning European Union talks.

The move is the latest in worsening tensions between Germany and Turkey, highlighted during a referendum campaign this year in Turkey to expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - which German officials often blocked from being conducted in that country.

The German Interior Minister Thomas Mezeri said that the Turks had given the German intelligence a great opportunity to reveal new agents of the Turkish intelligence in Germany who may perform the task, stressing his country's refusal to foreign countries to spy on residents on German territory, even if they hold the nationalities of that country.

Ankara had blocked a planned visit in July as relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies deteriorated.

"The political atmosphere in the aforementioned country is under the influence of far-right and racist propaganda", it added. The statement alleged there was no judicial recourse in Germany for "xenophobia and racism".


The German Federal Republic Parliamentary Armed Forces ombudsman, Hans-Peter Bartels, expressed a similar concern: "If Turkey does not back down, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation base should be relocated to another partner country".

Also arriving at the meeting was Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian foreign minister, who said it should be "a core interest of the European Union to be able to put together some strategic type of partnership with Turkey".

"The agreement is "more kowtowing to Turkish President Erdogan", German Bundestag deputy for the leftist Die Linke party, Sevim Dagdelen, told Sputnik Deutschland". Germany is home to about 3 million people of Turkish origin.

Turkey has previously denied Germany's attempt to visit troops deployed at the Incirlik air base near the southern province of Adana, which pushed Berlin to move its soldiers and Tornado aircraft to Jordan. Scores of journalists are in jail and media houses have been shuttered.

"It's been known for a long time that I'm in favour of breaking off the talks with Turkey", Austria's foreign minister, Sebastien Kurz, said on Thursday.

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